News Release

Sisters Are 'Key To Happy Family Life'

2nd April 2009

People who grow up with at least one sister are generally more balanced and happier adults according to new research from the University of Ulster.

Professor Tony Cassidy from Ulster’s School of Psychology is presenting his findings at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Brighton today. 

The study of 571 participants aged between 17 and 25, found that those who grow up with no sisters tend to be more distressed. 

The results showed having at least one sister was associated with higher scores on a range of measures important for psychological well-being. For example, they reported better social support, more optimism and more positive coping than people who only had brothers.  

Professor Cassidy said: “Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families. However, brothers seemed to have the alternative effect. Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families. This is important information for those working with families and children.”

The British Psychological Society Annual Conference takes place in Brighton from 1 – 3 April 2009. 

For further information and to see the full programme, including titles and speakers of all the presentations at this year’s conference, visit:    


Quick Search of Archive
Title: Contact Details

Press Office
Communications & Public Relations

Tel:(028) 9036 6178
Media Contact Information